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Rev. Barry Lynn
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Reverend Barry W. Lynn has been the Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State since 1992. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and a prominent leader of the American religious left. He is a strong advocate of separation of church and state.

Entries by Rev. Barry Lynn

'Religious Freedom' Will Not Be A License To Discriminate On Our Watch

(17) Comments | Posted July 7, 2015 | 7:25 PM

When the U.S. Supreme Court declared that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, it was a moment of joy - and relief - for the majority of Americans.

But for the Religious Right and other fundamentalists, it was something else entirely: a nightmare scenario come true. And...

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Indiana's Religion Bill Is Partially Fixed -- But There's More Work to Be Done

(3) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 6:01 PM

The nation spent much of last week discussing Indiana's so-called "religious freedom" law, and everybody had an opinion. Apple's Tim Cook, Ashton Kutcher, MC Hammer and magician/comedian Penn Jillette offered widely reported thoughts, among others. And, of course, so did presidential aspirants.

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Religious Liberty and the Coming Corporate Theocracy

(86) Comments | Posted March 13, 2014 | 12:48 PM

Later this month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a pair of cases concerning Americans' access to birth control. Specifically, the high court will decide whether an employer who has a sincere religious objection to contraceptives can refuse to provide them to employees, even though the Affordable...

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Momentum And Inertia: Twin Threats To The Separation Of Church And State

(1) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 3:00 PM

I did not watch the new version of The Sound of Music recently, but I did stumble upon one of Bill O'Reilly's screeds against "secular progressives" while channel surfing.

A sizable percentage of Americans seem to buy into Bill's nonsense about losing their religious freedom because of those devilish...

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The Truth About Religious Freedom in the Military

(62) Comments | Posted July 15, 2013 | 5:48 PM

Serving in the armed forces is one of the most honorable professions one can choose in our society. And putting one's life on the line in defense of freedom is a sacrifice the rest of us can never repay.

That's why it saddens us that these very freedoms are being...

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Church Electioneering and the IRS: Another Example of Tax Agency Failure

(193) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 1:22 PM

You might have noticed that there has been a little controversy about the Internal Revenue Service lately.

It appears that officials in a Cincinnati IRS office subjected some conservative organizations that were seeking a form of tax exemption to heightened scrutiny and additional procedures because they had words...

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Don't Pass Me the Plate for Your Church's Upkeep

(49) Comments | Posted February 16, 2011 | 9:13 AM

I'm a minister, so it's no surprise that I'm fond of church architecture. From gothic brownstones and simple wooden country churches to gleaming marble temples and modernistic structures of glass and steel, I continue to be amazed at the variety of edifices people have constructed to serve as houses of...

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Who Needs a National Day of Prayer?

(25) Comments | Posted April 20, 2010 | 1:49 PM

A federal judge on April 15 ruled that the National Day of Prayer (NDP) is unconstitutional -- and the Religious Right is up in arms.

"This is a concerted effort by a small but determined number of people who have tried to prohibit all references to the Creator in the...

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It's Time for Obama to Fix the Faith-based Initiative

(76) Comments | Posted March 29, 2010 | 2:28 PM

The White House is now pondering recommendations offered by its Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. I've written here before about inappropriate financial self-interest on the part of numerous members of that Council. However, what were the overall merits and demerits of the final report presented to...

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Faith, Hope and Charity: Why President Obama's 'Faith-Based' Agenda Must Change

(69) Comments | Posted February 4, 2010 | 5:53 PM

Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 4, President Barack Obama asserted that his administration has "turned the faith-based initiative around," implying that his policies represent a sharp break from past practices.

That's news to me. In fact, from where I'm sitting, the core of Obama's faith-based initiative looks...

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'Pulpit Freedom Sunday': A Crusade to Turn Churches into Cogs in the Right-Wing's Political Machine

(19) Comments | Posted September 30, 2008 | 11:19 AM

Last Sunday, as many as three dozen pastors may knowingly violate federal tax law by endorsing U.S. Sen. John McCain from the pulpit or attacking U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.

The campaign was organized by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), an Arizona-based Religious Right legal group founded by a collection of...

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Do We Really Need A 'Faith-Based' Initiative?

(119) Comments | Posted July 1, 2008 | 7:41 PM

I nearly spilled my cornflakes this morning when I read an Associated Press story asserting that U.S. Sen. Barack Obama planned to not only expand the "faith-based" initiative but apparently allow religious groups taking part in it to receive tax money yet still discriminate on the grounds of religion...

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Romney, Religion and John F. Kennedy: Two Speeches, Two Different Viewpoints

(7) Comments | Posted December 6, 2007 | 7:06 PM

I was disappointed in Mitt Romney's statement today on the role of religion in politics. It was billed in the press as Romney's version of the famous John F. Kennedy speech to the Houston Ministerial Association back in 1960.

But the two addresses were not very similar. Kennedy said, "I...

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